What is Tanzania's currency? What time is it in Tanzania? How can I make a call to or from Tanzania? When going on holiday to Tanzania for the first time, these are important questions most travellers ask – below we've tried to answer these frequently asked queries as well as we can.
Know before you go
As you plan your trip, and before you travel, we recommend that you check the latest Foreign Office advice on the places that you're going to - regardless of where you are travelling to, or how you are travelling. See FCO's Tanzania advice here, or its info on other countries here.
We urge you to do this, as we recommend that all our travellers keep themselves up to date with the current foreign office advice on their destination countries.
Time in Tanzania
Tanzania is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). It doesn't operate daylight saving time, hence there's no time difference between their summer and winter months.
Currency in Tanzania
Tanzania's currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). At the time of writing (Apr 2013) £1 = Tsh2,437 – see www.oanda.com for the latest rates. Most camps and lodges charge in US$ (Aug 2009: £1 = US$1.69); very few now accept travellers' cheques, although most accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) but may charge a fee to do so. Buying Tanzania's currency in Europe or America can be difficult; many visitors will wait until they arrive in Tanzania to buy local currency.
Tanzania's International Dialling Code
The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by area codes (e.g. (0)22 for Dar es Salaam, or (0)27 for Arusha). Calling from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).
Food in Tanzania
The food served in Tanzanian safari camps varies, but is often delicious – the equivalent of a reasonable restaurant in Europe or America.
In Tanzania's towns and villages, the food is usually simpler. Plain grilled meat, nyama choma, is very popular, and often served with sauce, rice, chips, plantains or ugali (cornmeal or cassava mush). Indian cuisine is also wide spread. The locally brewed beer is good, including Serengeti, Safari, Kilimanjaro, mbege (homebrew from the Chagga people) and banana beer; imported beers (e.g. Tusker from Kenya) and wine are also excellent.
Health in Tanzania
Tanzania is a tropical country and vaccines are sensible (typhoid, polio, tetanus and yellow fever). Malaria is common and occurs all year round; you must take anti-malarial measures, especially in areas below 1800m! Always check the latest recommendations with your clinic or doctor – more travel info on Tanzania is provided by the Scottish NHS.
In Tanzania, HIV infection rates are high; AIDS is prevalent here. This isn't usually an issue for visitors, but they should be aware of the situation, and take the same sensible precautions to avoid infection which are wise in most countries. We understand that blood supplies used by the private hospitals in Tanzania have been carefully screened for many years.
Language in Tanzania
KiSwahili and English are the official languages and spoken by most people living in Tanzania; as well as this, there are many ethnic groups, speaking localised languages and dialects. Try to learn some basic KiSwahili before you go, to help you enjoy your trip more!
Laundry in Tanzania
Virtually all camps and lodges have a laundry service, although sometimes, because of religious taboos, women's underwear cannot be included.
Taking children to Tanzania
A few of Tanzania's safari camps are suitable for children, others aren't; Tanzania's beach destinations are generally very good for relaxed family getaways. For detailed advice, call our expert team, or see our ideas for family holidays in Tanzania.
Visas for Tanzania
At time of writing (Apr 2013), travellers with British passports, as well as US citizens, require visas for Tanzania (or Zanzibar). If you are living in the UK, then these are best obtained in advance from the Tanzanian High Commission, and cost (Apr 2013) £43 per single entry. Always check the latest regulations with your nearest Tanzania Embassy or High Commission before you travel.
The things to do in Tanzania are very similar to those in Kenya with a special twist. The Lion King made the Serengeti National Park famous and it also happens to be one of the best places where you can find an African Safari. What you can find in Tanzania that you can’t find anywhere else in Eastern Africa is the beauty of Zanzibar.
You can find unspoiled beaches along the mainland and even find incredible diving opportunities on the island of Zanzibar. Many people also don’t know that you can find two of the oldest Stone Age sites in the world right in Tanzania.
There are only two places in the world where you can witness the unique great migration of wildebeests, Kenya & Tanzania. Tanzania is one of the countries that is known for wildlife and being able to see “The Big 5” while on safari. Definitely a must do in Tanzania.
There are tons of parks in the country to visit. I was riding a bicycle in a park near the city of Arusha and as I was riding there wild buffaloes and elephants just walking around me. After you go on an official safari in the Sserengeti definitely check out the other national parks.
Zanzibar & Scuba Diving
The tourist attractions in Tanzania usually start with a safari and end with Zanzibar. There aren’t too many places in the world like this island just off the coast where you can find incredible diving opportunities and Africa’s version of the Caribbean. Look for the historic area called Stone Town for those of you that want a little history.
Aside from Zanzibar, Tanzania has great unspoiled beaches on its mainland to explore. Many of the beaches haven’t been explored by many tourists either.
Trekking Mt Kilimanjaro
When visiting Eastern Africa most tourists go on an African Safari which is almost always followed by a trek to the highest mountain in Africa. Most people say this isn’t a hard trek but watch your toes, a high percentage of people come back with a broken toe!
Stone Age Sites
I like to visit places that most people don’t travel to, if I were to tell you that there are stone age sites in Tanzania that are up to 30,000 years old no one would believe me. Most people think that Africa is only about seeing animals and Tanzania surely breaks that mold by having two of these sites available.
The gorgeous region of Lake Victoria is not only accessible via Uganda. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the 2nd freshwater lake in the world. It hold s unique ecosystem where many different types of animals can be seen and you can even swim and have a relaxing weekend here as well.
The crater is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and happens to be the home of the highest density of large game in Africa. You can find “The Big 5” and is one of the best places in Tanzania to go on safari.